Supervisor Cook Announces Fairfax County Will Acquire Closed Kings West Swim Club For Storm-Water Management and Park Use

*Process Underway to Convert Land from Vacant Pool to a Park
*Step 1: DPWES scheduled to begin demolition and restoration in fiscal year 2012

As many of you may know, the Kings West Swim Club located off of Tapestry Drive has been closed for about five years, having suffered from declining membership. The abandoned pool has been a safety concern as well as an aesthetic blight on the community. Many efforts to find other uses for the property, including additional homes and a day care center, did not pan out for a host of reasons, but mainly, because the majority of the nine acre parcel lies in a Resource Protection Area (RPA). It is, however, ideal for storm water management and a neighborhood park.

After significant community consultation, Fairfax County has found a solution to this vexing community concern. The Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES) Storm Water Management Division and the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) will partner to incorporate the property into the Park Authority’s Stream Valley Park Network, which will provide needed water quality enhancements in the Rabbit Run Branch of the Pohick Creek Stream Valley and protect the sensitive Resource Protection Area.

DPWES will replace the asphalt parking lot and basketball court, the pool house, tennis courts and the pool with landscaping and low impact bio-retention techniques to reduce storm water flows and improve water quality. The path intersecting the property will be realigned from the bridge to Tapestry Drive and the remainder of the property will be reforested. DPWES has put the project on its Fiscal Year 2012 (FY-12) work plan.

The Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) has agreed to acquire the property once all impervious surfaces are removed.

The innovative plan is reflective of an increased cooperative effort between FCPA and DPWES regarding storm water runoff in response to Environmental Protection Agency mandated Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) requirements. That program seeks to reduce impervious surfaces and reduce harmful pollutants from flowing directly into local water bodies. The stream that runs through the Kings West property empties into Royal Lake.

This is a significant achievement for the Braddock District. The Park Authority picks up additional land for the park system, DPWES picks up MS4 credits, and the community is able to pick up additional green space while disposing of a property whose facilities have been closed for years. The removal of the pool and its amenities also removes a potential health hazard, eyesore, and crime magnet. Additionally, the plan avoids potential financial liability for pool board members, who have served in the best interests of the community and were subject to potential legal obligation.

Supervisor Cook would especially like to thank Anthony Vellucci, his appointed representative to the Park Authority, the Pool Board members for their dedication to the community both before and after the pool closed, and staff members of the FCPA and DPWES for working with his office and the community to convert a community challenge into a community success story.

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